Valuing Musical Childhoods: Methods and Multiplicities

Sarah Tomlinson, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Scholars in musicology and popular music studies have recently published volumes on the intersection of childhood studies and music. These volumes have opened up pathways into manifold methodologies and shed invaluable light on how the use of childhood as a critical lens fundamentally shifts understandings of musical life and practices. Consisting of contributors to these influential volumes along with emerging scholars, this roundtable offers fresh conversations about music, childhood and youth as subjects for cultural and historical analyses. Musicologist Roe-Min Kok (chair) co-edited and contributed to the 2006 Musical Childhoods and the Cultures of Youth and popular music studies scholar Jacqueline Warwick edited and contributed to the 2016 Voicing Girlhood in Popular Music: Music, Authority, Authenticity. One intervention of this roundtable is bringing these scholars together since the collections shared little overlap in contributors. Another is to add in new perspectives from musicologist Anicia Timberlake, whose 2015 dissertation and forthcoming book focus on children’s music education in the German Democratic Republic, PhD student in Childhood Studies Ryan Bunch, and PhD candidate in Musicology Sarah Tomlinson. The four roundtable participants will address the necessarily interdisciplinary nature of their work, involving multiple understandings of childhood and methodologies. Ryan Bunch begins by discussing the co-construction of music and childhood in musical theater, showing that children’s participatory engagements not only express their relationship to music but also shape the forms and practices of musicals. Anicia Timberlake’s presentation brings to fore questions about cultural and musical representations of the child in pedagogical practices under a totalitarian regime.

No extended abstract or paper available

 Presented in Session 179. Valuing Musical Childhoods: Methods and Multiplicities